Tuesday, September 27, 2011

9 months: Object Permanence and Cruising Along

Owen had his 9 month check up this morning. Here are our "big" boy's stats:

Height: 29 inches (75%)
Weight: 18 lb 4.5oz (10-25%)
Head: 17.2 inches (5-7%)
Hemoglobin: 12.7 (perfect)
Flu Vaccine: One
Teeth: Zero
Love: Lots 

Once again, there is slight concern about his extremely small head and continued decline on the weight growth chart. Developmentally he's right on track, though, so we aren't concerned that the head size is indicative of something more serious going on. The weight issue will likely be a stressor to me for a long time. She recommended bumping up the solid feedings to 5-6 x/day. We are also starting yogurt today and meat soon, so the fat content of his diet should increase soon, too.

Most of the pictures this month will highlight his 'on the move' state. It amazes me the places he crawls into.

I had to get creative about how to get a picture with him NOT eating the sign! (Check out his finger foods.. he's doing so well!)

"Mom, really, are you going to make me do this again?" (ps.. I love the way he looks in red).

Update of the Owen and Amity portfolio.

Studious Amity perfects the "Wheels on the Bus" while center-of-attention Owen smiles for the camera
(Oskee is just glad they've stopped crawling after her!)

Our Husky in the book shelf. We can entertain him for 10-20 minutes putting his books back on the shelf while he pulls them back out. In fact, he loves to pull anything out of anywhere. Books off the shelf, toys out of the box, Tupperware out of the drawer. At what developmental age do they put things back IN? =)

He loves his books. Actually, he will now, on occasion, actually listen to a book.
Posing in front of the washing machine. He loves to pull up and stick his head into  the washing machine while babbling. The echo must sound so cool.

Under the table

On the dishwasher

In the Tupperware drawer

I love the reflection in this picture. He chews on anything he can!

Owen and his sweet friend, Camille (13mo). Don't you just love her hair!?

Owen actually experiencing what it's like to be the 'Big Kid'. Baby Sam looks a little nervous.

He LOVES daddy's hats. He LOVES his daddy. like crazy. It's awesome.

Saturday football gear + a not so stylish hat. I don't know why Mike and I think this is hilarious.

A sneak peak at his Mizzou's 100th Homecoming outfit and Halloween Costume.

 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Climbing INTO the basket and going for daddy's books.
This picture also highlights the current state of the back of his head. We decided against the helmet therapy. At our follow up appointment in early September, the NP said it had a 75% chance of continuing to round out. The bottom of his skull has popped out nicely. Though the crown of his skull is still relatively flat, she thinks this is actually genetic and unlikely to improve with helmet therapy. Mike puts it best: "This is the way God made him". Flat head and all =)

Many other reasons we LOVE this baby:

- His giggles have reached an all time high. I thought we had already achieved our max giggle potential, but I was wrong indeed. He giggles across the room at whatever he is crawling toward. He giggles at my show choir moves (You were right, Chelsea, show choir was great mommy prep). He giggles at songs that he recognizes. Wheels on the Bus, Spoonful of sugar, Jesus loves me, and several other songs that I make up.
- He can pull to stand and get back down (we've been working on the getting back down all month). It interfered with nap time for quite a while!
- Once he pulls up on the coffee table, he can cruise around the coffee table (holding on) to reach his desired object. He often gets (too) brave and decides to not hold on to the coffee table. This is usually in an effort to pet the dog who is trying to assess whether or not he has food. He promptly falls, and she gets startled. It's quite the scene.
- He can reach a sitting position from crawling, lying, standing, etc. So cool!
- He does not want to be restrained at any time. The exersaucer is no longer fun because he can't move around in it. This means I need to watch him constantly, and we go everywhere together. Even the bathroom. We've also had lots of opportunity to work on the word 'no'.
- He loves.to.swing
- He has graduated to being in the 'big' tub without using the infant tub. He kept crawling out of the infant tub, so we decided it was much more safe to have him in a few inches of water in the big tub.
- He babbles frequently. Most commonly saying 'Dada'. We still have 'Ba', 'Ma', and 'Ga', but not many others. Interestingly he always whispers 'di di di di'. It's too sweet.
- He sticks his tongue out when concentrating. I can assuredly say that this comes from his Papa Cooper.
- He has no pincher grasp, but he is quite good at feeding himself small bites of food. (He will even eat bite sized green beans!)
- He is fascinated by other peoples' mouths. He's always watching Mike and me talk, and he constantly has his hands in my mouth.
- Object permanence is in full force. His new favorite game is to throw something off of the changing table and look for it. He'll also look for toys that we hide under blankets. Likewise he now cries when you take him away from something he should not be playing with, and he fusses when we leave his line of vision. Stranger anxiety is likely right around the corner, but so far he is OK with me leaving him in the nursery at church or at the gym.
- He mostly loves to play with anything that is not a toy.. but if he does play with a toy, he likes balls the best. Mike is teaching him to play 'catch' which he does fairly well with a tennis ball. He may even prefer the left hand when playing catch... only time will tell.
- In the last month we have added plums (LOVE), spinach (will eat when combined with carrots), white potatoes (not as good as sweet potatoes!), grapes, and beans.
- Sleeping, I am SO happy to report, is wonderful. He sleeps from 1930-0530 every night! He wakes up on the dot at 5:30, so much so, that Mike doesn't even need an alarm anymore. I feed him, and then he goes back to bed until around 0700 or 0730! Naps are usually twice a day for 40-50 minutes each.

We love him oh so much, and we appreciate your willingness to read these long, longmonthly posts.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Who needs a pincher grasp....

When you have a fairly efficient finger rake + a big mouth to stuff food into?

He saves these Cheerios for later

Still life shot

I couldn't figure out how to rotate the video. Here is a little glimpse into our meal times these days. He's getting better at the finger foods. Despite the lack of teeth he can 'gum' puffs, cheerios, steamed carrots, avocado, and banana.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pregnancy Book

It's been a goal to organize my pregnancy photos and print them in to something tangible. I do love the online record keeping, but I still love to hold keepsakes in my hands. SO, 9 months later.. I have a pregnancy book!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Beautiful British Columbia

We celebrated graduation, the nearing end of flight test, Labor Day, and our third anniversary in Victoria, BC. The license plates in BC say, 'Beautiful British Columbia', and they are not joking. Victoria greeted us with 4 days and 3 nights of Goldilocks weather. It was just right. Mike said, the weather here is the temperature that you would want the inside of your house to be. 73 degrees and severely clear. There was not a cloud in the sky. We felt blessed and refreshed to end our summer vacationing with perfect weather. It appears that we hit the jack pot because one local said the weather in Victoria tends to be as cloudy as Seattle but 5-8 degrees cooler at all times.

We woke up early on Saturday morning (Sept 3) and hopped on the Victoria Clipper. It's a high speed, no-car ferry that zips across the Puget Sound, Straight of Juan de Fuca, and Pacific Ocean right into the Victoria Harbor in 2hrs and 45 minutes. It's a great way to travel (and thanks to Groupon, our tickets were 50% off). I was a little nervous about vacationing without a car (as infants often require a lot of 'stuff'), but we walked all over that city with the 'Bob', and it was just fine! Victoria is a very manageable city/town. It's expensive and has abundant amenities and character like a city, but it is also quaint and compact like a smaller town.

Victoria is named after Queen Victoria of England who ruled over Canada up until the 1890s (I think). If you want the actual time period, please refer to my husband. He's the smart one who loves details and actually has a memory. (Thanks to child bearing and rearing, mine is still missing). So anyway, Victoria is historically British. They are famous for their pubs, fish n'chips (served with malt vinegar, of course),  afternoon tea, scones/jam, double-decker buses, and stunning Parliament buildings. You'll see these themes in the slide show below.

In addition to the natural charm of the city, Victoria was hosting a wooden boat festival the weekend we went, and the harbor was full of beautiful boats. It was great! The gardens in Victoria also took my breath away. They were perfectly designed and manicured. Victoria is also the world's second busiest seaplane harbor (second to Anchorage). There were flights in and out it seemed every 10-15 minutes. That was a real treat, for sure. I was also very pleased with the plethora of shops to indulge in ice cream. After all, what is a vacation if you don't have ice cream every day?

This was our first vacation with Owen. We've travelled to our parents' houses a couple of times, but the schedule and comforts of home remain the same. This scenario was a bit different, though. It required some flexibility and alternative vacation plans. Once we (I) re-framed our expectations, we (I) had a great time. I should note that my dear husband is perpetually flexible and content and does a much better job relaxing than I do. So the above statement applies to me only. 

So it was Owen's first 'vacation', and he had a lot of other firsts too! He had his first ferry ride and first small boat ride. We took a Harbour ferry tour of different parts of the island. He loved the wind through his hair and talked/yelled the whole time. We rented bikes with a baby/toddler attachment and took him on his first bike ride as well. He wasn't a huge fan of this activity. We think maybe it was just a little too bumpy or maybe he wasn't quite tall enough.... we'll attempt it again though. We also took him to a petting zoo. He didn't care about the baby goats, but Mike and I sure had fun! Owen also had his first play time on a swing set. Don't worry, it was the bucket swing seat that supported him well. He giggled and kicked the whole time. Again, he loves that wind through his hair. We'll definitely be heading up to the neighborhood park a bunch now!

Because of the stage he is at, he either wanted to be walking fast in the stroller or crawling around on the picnic blanket. (Thank you again Alison Francis for the picnic blanket you gifted us with at our wedding. We use it ALL OF THE TIME!).  Both of these activities were fine by Mike and me. We love walking around and exploring cities, and the Parliament building had a huge lawn where we threw down the blanket and let him crawl and rip up the grass. We also ate most of our meals here too.

When we had to be back in the hotel @ 7pm to put him to bed, Mike and I indulged in the 'House Hunters' marathon on HGTV. We don't have cable at home, so we had a blast watching this show. It's fun to dream and discuss what you do/do not like about different houses. It really opens up a wealth of conversational opportunities. We had a great time connecting and being away from the responsibilities of 'home', and it was actually really wonderful being back to the hotel that early.  

We feel so blessed that we are able to get away together and explore new places. Thanks for reading this marathon of a post. Hope you enjoy the slideshow of pictures! (Thanks to my blog advisor Chelsea who helped me get that figured out, again).

Love, The Wades

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hungry Bird

Perhaps he will grow up to be a conductor? He twirls this right wrist every time he eats. If he wants more, the wrist goes faster! This video was taken in our hotel room in Victoria. Feeding him without the 5 point harness was interesting for sure, but he did well. He loves his food!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Birthday 'Blast'

Ok. It's a pun. I couldn't help it. We spent Mike's birthday weekend at Mt. St. Helens. It actually last erupted in 1980 (the year of Mike's birth). It's been on our PAC NW 'bucket list', and as we would love to leave here sooner rather than later, we thought it was high time we travelled down south to the volcano.

We're also entering in to a new era of our marriage. I'm finally done with school, and my nurse practitioner job that was supposed to start Aug 19 officially fell through on Aug 17. I actually think it's a total blessing and absolutely God's will. Though it seemed perfect on paper, it wasn't so perfect (or even ideal... or even safe) in real life. SO, I have lots of time to explore. Mike, also has more time free for 'fun family day' activities. The 747-8 freighter that he's been flight testing received it's official FAA approved flight certificate  2 weeks ago, and the Boeing engineers are also putting the finishing touches on the 747-8 intercontinental (passenger version). He's working way less weekends and hasn't spent a night away from home in at least 6 weeks! It took some adjusting, but now we actually know how to relax together!

Relax and explore is what we did for Mike's birthday weekend. Friday he took me up flying! He's been wanting to take me since we started dating.. and finally we had the time and money to do it (thank you Groupon!)

Mike and Jake the flight instructor checking things out before we took off.

We are taxiing on the runway here, and I took this picture because I am thinking, "Um.. do they shut the windows on small planes while in the air?".  I am sure you all are thinking I'm so dumb because of course they shut the windows. But I was picturing Amelia Earhart in her plane with no top and I thought.. well maybe it's possible? When Mike reads this he will think I'm ridiculous... I haven't yet shared these thoughts with him!

Brand new 737s waiting to be painted and delivered.
Pilot Mike Wade and his assistant 'Mr. Not-So-Professional' Jake Somebody.

Aerial Shot over Bremerton

Shillshole Marina


Space Needle
Puget Sound/West Seattle

As we landed we had a great view of the 747-8 intercontinental (Queen of the Skies). This is the plane Mike flight tests. It is HUGE and beautiful!

All in all, I LOVED flying with Mike. He, of course, is a fantastic pilot.. even did some tricks in the air. I am so proud of his talents, and so glad he chose engineering instead of becoming a full time airline pilot. So much easier to have family time!

So the next day we drove about two hours south to visit Mt. St. Helens! Here is the view from the visitors center at the front of the park.  
A little closer...
and closer still...
The tree line is incredibly uniform because the entire forest was replanted in 1983 after the previous forest was destroyed by volcanic ash!

Some Wiki stats on the volcano: Mt St Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 am PDT which was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, caused an eruption, reducing the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 ft (2,950 m) to 8,365 ft (2,550 m) and replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater.

It was a beautifully clear day, and we could also see Mt. Adams (see it peaking out, left).

This crater now has glaciers that are growing.. a rare phenomenon in the Cascade Range.

We took some time to enjoy the view and let the baby boy crawl around. He did a great job despite the extended time in the car seat that day!